Our Take: FDA Declares Kratom an Opioid
On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declared kratom, a popular herbal product among the chronic pain community, to be an opioid. In the FDA’s statement, the agency presents research that shows that kratom acts similarly to opioids, thus raising concerns around addiction and safety. In the nation’s fight against the opioid crisis, the chronic pain community grapples with stigma and access to treatment.
This announcement underscores the need for safe treatment alternatives for the chronic pain community. Anyone living with chronic pain should continue to expand their “toolbox” to include a variety of chronic pain therapies to find relief. One promising option is technology-based treatments, which are inherently safe, and can help bridge the gap as regulators continue to impose new policies around opioid use and access.
It is more important than ever to get alternative treatments in the hands of consumers, and it is our hope that the healthcare system stakeholders (regulators, insurers, etc.) will begin to acknowledge treatments outside of opioids and other prescription drugs. At some level, our healthcare system is inhibiting the adoption of alternative pain treatments, and to address this, innovators must gather credible evidence to prove the clinical effectiveness of new treatment modalities and work to expand access. For NeuroMetrix, that means ongoing innovation to enhance Quell in order to provide the chronic pain community with a drug-free pain relief option.
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